Over 200 jobs are to be created in Dundalk over the next five years by a Chinese company that specialises in making vaccines.

WuXi Vaccines is to invest €200m in the construction of a new vaccine production facility in the Co Louth town. 

It will be built on the WuXi Biologics Campus in Dundalk, which is under construction and set to open in 2022. 

The new investment is being supported by IDA Ireland. 

It will bring total employment on WuXi Biologics' Dundalk Campus to 600 by 2024.

WuXi Vaccines is a joint venture between WuXi Biologics and Hile Bio-pharmaceutical, a veterinary vaccine maker based in Shanghai.  

The joint venture is being formed to primarily make vaccines. 

A planning application for the plant was submitted to Louth County Council last month.  

This new project to exclusively manufacture a vaccine for the global market is among the first of its kind in the industry.  

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Last year, WuXi Biologics announced it was investing €325m in the construction of a new biologics plant in the town. 

The 48,000sq/m site is set to become the world's largest single-use biologics manufacturing facility. 

WuXi is a Hong Kong-based firm that offers other multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies services needed to discover, develop and manufacture biologics.

These are drugs that are made from living organisms and are produced in bioreactors.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said the move was a great win for the North-East and a huge vote of confidence in the local workforce. 

She added that today's announcement demonstrates, once again, that the border region is a very attractive location in which to invest.

WuXi Biologics Ireland's site head and vice president Brendan McGrath said today that Dundalk's potential to become a global hub for biologics contract manufacturing has moved one step closer to reality.